Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
What does Confucius say? A&E can answer that. This edition of the award winning series Biography profiles the Chinese philosopher. Born in the state of Lu (modern Shantung), by the time Confucius was fifteen he had resolved to devote himself to learning. His father died when he was just three and young Confucius was a shepherd, cow heard, bookkeeper and clerk at various times to help support his mother. Largely self-educated, he married Chi-Kuan at nineteen and became a local administrator. In 531 BC began his career as a teacher. In 501 BC he was appointed Governor of Chung-tu, then minister of works, and later minister of justice. His ideas for social reform made him the idol of the people; but his political enemies caused him to leave Lu, and he traveled widely, followed by his many disciples. He later edited the ancient writings, and the Confucian Analects, memorabilia compiled soon after his death, are a collection of his sayings and doings. His moral teaching stressed the importance of the traditional relations of filial piety and brotherly respect and have been an important part of Chinese culture for over 2000 years.
ancient, Chinese [nationality], governor, justice, leader, reform [improve], teacher